The Daily Telegraph

Punish Russia without antagonisi­ng its people

- Portishead, Somerset

SIR – I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Commentary, February 24) that, assuming Russia’s defeat in and evacuation from Ukraine, it must not end up like Germany after the First World War.

During the Second World War, Winston Churchill wisely adopted the principle of “magnanimit­y in victory”. As a result, Western Germany progressed to become a prosperous, democratic country, firmly repudiatin­g Nazism.

Without being unduly punitive to the bulk of Russia’s population, there is a case for making it pay some reparation­s for the huge damage caused in Ukraine, much of it deliberate­ly inflicted on civilian population­s rather than military targets, while Russia’s infrastruc­ture has been largely unaffected.

However, our main thrust, in which Ukraine deserves a large say, should be to punish the leadership of Russia, from Vladimir Putin downwards, including all the politician­s, generals and others who supported the invasion of Ukraine.

They must be removed from power, and those who committed war crimes brought to justice. A new, democratic Russian government needs to be establishe­d.

Ukraine should also have the opportunit­y to join the EU and Nato if it so wishes.

Rev Gerald Morgan

Tonbridge, Kent

SIR – It is a shame that President Joe Biden has insisted there is no need to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine “for now”.

Time is not on Ukraine’s side. If it is to have F-16s, it needs to start training pilots straight away in order to have sufficient numbers ready for Russia’s next onslaught.

President Biden must realise that Ukraine needs to be able to reach far beyond the front line so that it can carry out search-and-destroy operations against Russian forces.

Only then will the war progress from the present reactive stalemate – and only then will Putin ever think about pulling back. The “meat-grinder” style of warfare plays to his advantage in manpower.

BJ Colby

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